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May 9, 2012. Building the Case for Adult Education: A Guide to Advocacy Communications. Welcome Steven Baker, Jobs for the Future External Advocacy Kent Fischer, GMMB Internal Advocacy Jennifer Foster, Illinois Community College Board Discussion Jeff Landis, Jobs for the Future.

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may 9 2012

May 9, 2012

Building the Case for Adult Education:A Guide to Advocacy Communications


Welcome Steven Baker, Jobs for the FutureExternal Advocacy Kent Fischer, GMMB Internal Advocacy Jennifer Foster, Illinois Community College BoardDiscussion Jeff Landis, Jobs for the Future


Advocacy communications

Kent Fischer, Vice President


Who am I?

  • Education writer for 15 years
  • Vice President in GMMB’s Seattle office
  • Help lead education portfolio, including postsecondary clients
advocacy communications the basics
Advocacy communications: The basics

Communicating for action

Know which audiences you need

Know what you want them to do

Differentiate communications around those “asks”

who do you need on your side
Who do you need on your side?
  • Segment your audiences
  • Define your channels
  • Know what moves them
know what you want them to do
Know what you want them to do
  • Vote “yes”?
  • Click a link?
  • Sign a petition?
  • Keep mum?
design communications around those asks
Design communications around those asks
  • Compelling messages
  • Simple language
  • Well defined tactics
  • Trusted messengers
words matter but so does substance
Words matter, but so does substance
  • Under promise / over deliver
  • Squeeze out the jargon
reaching policymakers
Reaching policymakers
  • Don’t think you can dig deep. You can’t. You’ll get 5 minutes of their time.
  • Tell them simply what it is you are trying to do (“Help more kids graduate ready for jobs.”)
  • Tell them the blowback they are going to feel from constituents.
  • No Jargon!
communicating the plan

Communicating the Plan

Jennifer K. Foster

Senior Director for Adult Education

Project Coordinator

develop a team of champions
Develop a Team of Champions

Include a variety of partners in the design and development of the project

Illinois State Level Partners

Governor’s Office

ICCB Staff

Advocacy Groups

Adult Education


Colleges: President, VPs, Faculty, Dev. Ed., Student Services

Professional Development and Training

Research and Policy


existing initiatives
Existing Initiatives

Capitalize on existing initiative

Don’t reinvent the wheel

Within the state and outside of the state

  • Joyce Foundation “Shifting Gears Initiative”
  • Sector based strategies

Illinois Adult Education Strategic Plan

Common Core and College Readiness Initiative

Programs of Study

Higher Education Public Agenda

President’s Vision

Economic Impact Study

Performance Based Funding Task Force

state level leadership
State Level Leadership




Determine the commonalities and how we can help each other achieve separate and common outcomes

Communicate Regularly

engage local colleges early in the process
Engage Local Colleges - Early in the Process

Meet Regularly with Locals

Allow time for discussion and sharing

Assist them in understanding the desired outcomes

Allow time for Professional Development

local leadership and roles
Local Leadership and Roles:
  • Partnerships across divisions
    • AE, CTE, Student Services, Financial Aid, Registration, Tutoring Services
  • The ability to understand the others language
  • Understand and recognize the differences
  • Understand the performance outcomes and objectives of each area
  • Territorial Issues
local challenges
Local Challenges

Adult Education students must be prepared

CTE must be assured that the curriculum will not be watered down

Work toward common objectives rather than stacked

Defining the goal

Initiative Fatigue

Financial Assistance Needs


Flexibility in scheduling of classes


Number of seats available

Financial Assistance to students

Communicating the need co-teaching aspect of the project

Connecting the AO/ICAPS model to a bigger policy or broader plan

Employer Engagement

Sustainability of the Project